Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

When I think of cake, I think of a true classic: buttery, yellow cake with a rich, chocolate frosting. It’s the epitome of birthday cake. Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, and Betty Crocker all know what I’m talking about, which is why you can find a million different box mixes in the grocery store to make such a cake. But what about those of us who want to make it on our own? Well, it’s tough because the boxes are just so easy, come out perfectly every time, and require no guesswork. But where’s the fun in that for a girl who loves to bake? Right, there is none. So, I am officially embarking on a quest for the perfect yellow cake recipe (as I already have a perfect chocolate frosting).

I came across this recipe about 7 months ago. I wanted to bake a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for my Dad’s birthday and had bookmarked this recipe. Chaos in the Kitchen titles her post with this recipe as “Perfect Yellow Cake.” The original recipe come from a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia called Restaurant Eve, and was originally posted by the Washington Post. I decided to give this recipe a whirl, since it seemed to get rave reviews.
Let me tell you right here, right now: I was disappointed in this yellow cake. Honestly, it wasn’t buttery and rich enough for me. It was light, airy, and a little too sweet. It was very similar to an angel food cake, but not as sticky. Despite my disappointment, it was still a delicious cake. But it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for in making a yellow cake, so I’m glad I didn’t make it for my Dad’s birthday!
When I researched more about this cake after making it, I realized that another blog, Food Loves Writing, compared the taste to that of a buttery, sweet sugar cookie. That totally fits this cake and was completely not the taste I was hoping for, so it makes sense that this cake did not meet my expectations.

I don’t want this to deter you from trying this cake, so if I made it again, I would pair it with a plain buttercream frosting or something with fruit. I would not use my delicious chocolate frosting again (I used Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting) for this cake because chocolate just didn’t pair as well as I’d hoped!

Yellow Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 cups sugar
2½ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer. On medium speed, add the butter, incorporating in several additions.
This recipe uses melted butter instead of creaming it like most other recipes do.

Beat for about 2 minutes, or until combined; the texture should resemble cornmeal.
Yup, looks like cornmeal!

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add to the flour-butter mixture in two batches (scraping the bowl once), and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth.  
I liked beating the eggs separately; I found it to incorporate nicely and produce a very smooth batter.
Light, fluffy, and incredibley smooth. And it tastes amazing :)

Distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
My Wilton cake pans are two of my favorite things. They bake cake perfectly every time!

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
See what I mean? Golden delicious!

Remove cakes from pans to cool completely.  
Seriously, how pretty are these cakes?!

Frost the cake with Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting, also found on my blog. :)
I really need to take a cake decorating class to work on my piping skills.

Clearly my friends liked this Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting!!

Thanks for sticking around for this recipe!

<3 Buttercup

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